Rebuy Strategy Attitudes

© 2006 Randy Saylor

A recent thread in the BBP Forum discussed rebuy tournaments. I had recently completed a two-part July 21 series on rebuy tournaments Part One and Part Two, so the thread in the forum interested me. Reading through the replies there has got me seriously thinking about the attitude to take into those games. This is a facet I discussed only briefly in the original series.

I want to respond to a few quotes I took from that thread, because I think it's an attitude thing when it comes to rebuys.

Part One of this series looks at rebuy decisions. Part Two dissects the add-on calculation. A related article, Storming Rebuy Tournaments, discusses a strategy approach for players who insist on playing a rebuy tournament with no intention of making additional purchases.

To Rebuy, or not to Rebuy

Quote 1: …but I wont re-buy, if I lose all my chips in the re-buy hour I’ll bow out, but I will add on at the break.

If you won't rebuy, play freezeouts. Understand that this is NOT a criticism! It means exactly what it says. You must take the right attitude towards R&A MTTs, and that means being willing to rebuy several times if you are playing well and just getting unlucky. Rebuys aren't for everybody!

Rebuy tournaments are just different, and MUST be played differently. First of all, if you don't take the initial rebuy (doubling your stack before the first hand), you are missing the chance to add chips. What if everyone at your table has 3000, you have 1500, three go all-in, and you're looking at AA? If your aces hold up, you've got 6000. You could have had 12000.

There is some validity to saying, "I'll bow out if I lose all my chips", but only if it's past the halfway point of the rebuy period. In a regular speed R&A, the rebuy period is one hour. If it's past 30 minutes in, and a double rebuy will only get you less than half of the tournament average, you're right; it's time to cut your losses. A double up now gets you back to average, but your opportunities to double are lower since everyone's tightened up after the first fifteen minutes of rebuy frenzy. (In turbo R&As, the corresponding times are 30 and 15 minutes, since the rebuy period is shorter.)

Quote 2: …lots of loose play so if you play premium hands you can go a long way.

Image is important here. If the blinds are 10/20, and you open push all-in for 3000 first to act, you won't get any action if you've folded the previous twenty hands. I try to establish a loose rebuy maniac image in the first few hands. If it's not all-in preflop, I am willing to go all-in early on with any top pair (any kicker), any four to a flush, and any eight out straight draw (open ended or double belly buster). This makes it easier to get paid when you do have a premium hand.

Quote 3: …if I’m in one I take the Daniel Negreanu approach and move in with very loose cards…

Acorn89 agreed with my assessment above, then mentioned Daniel Negreanu. Kid Poker plays rebuys this way for two reasons: 1) to loosen up the table at get more chips for his big hands, and 2) to get more chips on the table that he can win back after play tightens up later. He re-bought 27 times during a rebuy event during the 2005 World Series of Poker.

Quote 4: Realistically in some of the bigger tourneys you have to be willing to rebuy at least once or twice and do the add-on. If you are not willing to do so then you might as well play a freezeout.

I’ve won tokens to some of the guarantee tourneys on Titan that are rebuys. I have gotten close to the money without rebuying for the $30 or $50 extra but in the end tight play during the rebuy period to avoid the aggressiveness of those rebuying didn’t allow me to get a big enough stack to be able to maneuver and cash.

Irongirl chimed in with some helpful comments, and makes a good point: be aware of the satellites to tournaments that are rebuys. A lot of players enter the satellite, sometimes unaware that the target tournament is a rebuy event. If they win the satellite, but are then unable or unwilling to make the rebuys, this puts a lot of dead money in the prize pool, unless they get very lucky.

Article Continues: Rebuy Tournament Decision

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